7 December, 2020
I rise to second the Live Animal Export Prohibition (Ending Cruelty) Bill 2020, and commend the member for Clark for his continued advocacy on this issue.
The standard we walk past is the standard we accept, and clearly this is an issue we've walked past for far too long. The member for Clark has been trying, repeatedly, to bring us up to a standard where we do, in fact, offer better protections to animals. This bill seeks to permanently ban the export of live animals for slaughter from 1 July 2023 and puts in place steps to ensure that, and, in the interim, that live animals are treated humanely after they are exported. Many of my constituents in Warringah care deeply about this issue.
It has been a particularly trying time for the animals and workers of the live export sector this year under COVID. Since 2017, there has been a ban on live export ships leaving Australian ports after May due to the suffering of the animals in the peak northern hemisphere summer heat. But, under COVID-19 impacts on global shipping and excuses of delay, the Al Kuwait ship was allowed to leave in June, meaning they were sailing in the peak of summer heat. Tragically, we've also seen an extension and a continuation of cruelty to animals under this policy.
I would also like to raise the Gulf Livestock I incident, where, tragically, we saw the sinking of one of these ships in a typhoon off the coast of Japan. One of the crew members of Gulf Livestock I, when it went down with all its crew and all its animals on board, grew up in Warringah and had strong connections with friends and family in Mosman and on the beaches. To date, he has not been rescued or found. Whilst three Filipino nationals were found, 40 other crew—including two Australians, two New Zealanders and 6,000 cattle—remain missing. Japan has called off the search, but friends and family continue their search for Will Mainprize.